Illustrator

Adobe’s Software Development Teams Need To Get a Clue.

adobeYesterday I finally broke down and installed all of the software upgrades that Adobe’s Creative Cloud had been pushing on me since they were announced at Adobe Max. While the process of running the upgrades wasn’t painful (at first) it was time-consuming (and still is). So let’s get to this. If you haven’t upgraded yet, be prepared to spend a boat load of time being involved with this process. Not because the initial upgrade will eat your day, but because the aftermath will. Why? because the Adobe software engineering team failed to take into account that an upgrade involves more than just their base software. It involves all the third-party plugins, presets scripts, and additional add-ons that most of use to extend Adobe’s software and make it more functional.

The new upgrade installs completely new versions of the Creative Cloud suite. That’s right it doesn’t actually upgrade your existing software base, it installs a brand new version of each piece of software you use. Adobe, this is an engineering fail and let me explain why. By installing a new version of the software as opposed to overwriting the existing software you force me to spend hours downloading and reinstalling hundreds of third-party add-ons across 14 applications that were upgraded in a single move. Now I know I am probably an exception to the rule since I use more than the average Joe when it comes to your software suite, but even for people only using, let’s say Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, this sucks. For instance, I have to now download and reinstall just for Photoshop the Nik plugin pack, Topaz Denoise, Natural HDR, Luminosity mask scripts, all of the actions I had created for previous versions, and a handful of other plugins and scripts. For After Effects it’s even worse I have to download and reinstall the entire Red Giant suite, (Particular, Light Factory, Composite Wizard, Holomatrix, Warp, Text Anarchy, Plane Space, Lux, Shine, Starglow, 3D Stroke, Sound Keys, Mir, Tow, Form, Looks, Colorista, Primatte, and about 8 more), not to mention scripts like Ease and Wizz and about 10 others.

This is a giant time suck, and time is money.

Adobe is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to creative software. If you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, filmmaker, typographer, sound designer, videographer, or artist you probably use at least one Adobe product if not components from the entire suite, and you are probably using Adobe’s Creative Cloud to stay current. Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with the Creative Cloud. I love that it keeps me up to date. I hate that every time there is a major upgrade I have to go through this bullshit. I get that Adobe moved to the Creative Cloud set up to combat software piracy, and control versioning across a large distribution base. What I don’t get is why after 3 or 4 years of pushing everyone to use the Creative Cloud, no one at Adobe has figured out that their upgrade process truly sucks. It’s broken. The user experience after making the upgrade is pure crap. It’s a gigantic time suck, and it could be avoided. The thing is, when you are the only game in town, you don’t have to make things right for your customer base

The thing is, when you are the only game in town, you don’t have to make things right for your customer base. You just keep doing what you are doing, because the chances of being dethroned after 30 years is pretty small. Adobe if you are listening, and I doubt you are, I am going to spend the better part of a day completing the upgrade to CC 2017, because your software engineering team didn’t feel that it was important enough to create an actual “Upgrade” as opposed to a complete new install. A new install that left legacy versions of 10 applications sitting on my hard drive wasting space, and is forcing me to track down essential tools I need to complete my workflow and reinstall them.

I know there are alternative tool sets available, but like so many I have bought into the Adobe workflow, and have spent decades learning to use these tools to master my craft. For lack of a better term, Adobe has me by the balls, and they know I am too invested to give them up. Consequently, it feels as though they have stopped giving a damn about the total user experience which involves maintenance like upgrades, but hey they added some new features to Photoshop I’ll probably never use.

I wonder if I can send them a bill for the time I’ll spend installing everything else I need to make the current updates fully functional with my workflow?

 

UPDATE: Like pouring salt in an open wound, if you are a Mac user, all of the applications in your Dock no longer work so you get to spend additional time removing all of them and adding the new application updates back in.

dock

The Adobe Illustrator Story.

About a year and a half ago I posted a couple of videos on the 25th anniversary of Adobe Illustrator. Both were pretty boring videos that Adobe produced back in the day to sell the new software to graphic designers. The video below, while just as long offers a better insight to how Adobe Illustrator really changed everything in the world of graphic design. Yes it really did. There are a number of references to the old school way of getting a piece of art from the drawing board to the printed page, but unless you did it, you have no idea. Through out the video designers, illustrators and artists are interviewed on how Adobe Illustrator has impacted their careers, or changed the course of them. The Adobe Illustrator Story is a tad long, but it’s well done with high production value and solid insight into John Warnock’s vision of how to make graphic design a bit easier, and ultimately more creative for us.

Lets Go To Lithuania.

I’ve never been to Lithuania but now that I’ve seen the worlds longest infographic from design studio Zazu I kind of want to go. The infographic is illustrated with line art that tells you how to get there. some general facts and info on things like population, currency exchange traditional food, and some of their iconic sights to visit. I love the look of this image. There is a certain late 1960’s early 1970’s feel to it with an updated appeal. It has a nice blend between hand drawn, and obviously computer generated, and I’m OK with that. I’m kind of over the sketchy chalkboard art look that has been burning up the design world for the last few years.

To-Lithuania-Infographic

PBS, Off Book, on Illustration.

Thank you PBS, and the Off Book series for creating this wonderful short film on Illustration, and what Illustrators do. This seven minute short film is worth watching whether you are an illustrator, designer, artist, or anyone that is interested in the visual arts at all. It features Steven Guarnaccia, Sean Murphy, Yuko Shimisu, and Molly Crabapple.

Illustrators articulate what a photograph cannot. Using an array of techniques and styles, illustrators evoke stories and meaning in a variety of mediums, from editorial illustration in magazines and newspapers, to comics books, to activist media. And as their tasks over the years have become less informational and more expressive, their individual voice as artists becomes all the more critical and beautiful, revealing an exciting and awe-inspiring age of illustration.

Featuring:
Steven Guarnaccia, Professor, Illustration Program at The New School
Yuko Shimisu, http://yukoart.com/
Sean Murphy, http://seangordonmurphy.com/
Molly Crabapple, http://mollycrabapple.com/